The City of Frederick is aware of a recent increase in rodent activity in several neighborhoods. In response, Mayor Michael O’Connor is announcing a comprehensive strategy to address concerns about the increased presence of rodents.
Over the past several weeks, the City has become aware of the increased presence of rats in several areas through community concerns and normal code enforcement activity. The City is working in coordination with other government agencies as well as the private sector to mitigate this issue to the greatest extent possible.
“A number of factors may contribute to increased presence of rats, including but not limited to weather and climate changes, human activity, and development activity which may displace habitats. My administration is committed to taking immediate steps to address the issue now, and further explore the most effective methods to mitigate increases in rodent activity in the future,” said Mayor Michael O’Connor.
In order to provide short-term abatement, The City will engage the services of a professional exterminator to develop a comprehensive abatement strategy for affected neighborhoods. The City will work with the exterminator to determine the extent of the challenge, possible root causes, and the most humane mitigation options.
“Generally, property maintenance, including the prevention and removal of vermin, is the responsibility of the property owner. And the City encourages all residents to take steps to limit their contributions to a habitat in which rats or other rodents could thrive,” Mayor O’Connor said. “But we also recognize our duty to ensure the public health of the City at- large. I’m willing to explore possible avenues and necessary resources to ensure this challenge is addressed.”
Code enforcement staff is proactively patrolling affected areas to identify potential environments that might attract rats. The staff will enforce city regulations as necessary to reduce existing or potential rat problems.
With respect to a long-term solution, Mayor O’Connor’s office will work with the Board of Aldermen and the Legal Department to develop appropriate ordinances or regulations for rodent mitigation. More information about this will be announced as it is developed.
“We are not the first city facing this challenge,” Mayor O’Connor said. “There have been a number of plans executed by other local governments with varying degrees of success. My office will work to identify the most successful initiatives and will incorporate aspects of those into our own ordinance for consideration by the Board of Aldermen. I believe together we can effectively allay this challenge facing our residents.”
The City will continue to work to educate residents on steps they can take to decrease the likelihood of nuisance animals finding refuge on their property. Rats typically live where they feel secure and have a food source. Please take the following steps to aid in this eradication effort:
Store all trash/garbage in cans with tight fitting lids at all times.
Replace all defective trashcans that are broken or have holes in them.
Don’t feed the animals or birds outside.
Eliminate water sources
Remove animal feces immediately.
Remove any accumulated bulk items from the yard.
Stack your firewood 18 inches off the ground.
Inspect your property on a routine basis to check for signs of rats or rat burrows.
Residents who experience concerns with pests or rodents are encouraged to contact the City through its existing code enforcement complaint form at frederickmd.gov/codecomplaint or by downloading the iSpires App and filing a concern on the app.